A good pair of boots are a good investment. I found these at our local military surplus store for $49.99, and the price was right for a review. Plus, I needed a new pair of boots for the yard. I've owned these boots for over 6 months, so they have had a good break-in period and many miles put on them. I've backpacked, done yard work, urban hiked (more later), and used these boots for everyday wear since their purchase.
My past boot purchases have been Vasque, Asolo, and other less known brands. This leaves me with a very good range of previous boots for comparison. I've also been walking at a very early age, so I have lots of experience. My feet are average with no special considerations for shoes.
Over the course of six months, I've kept a personal journal of my thoughts for the boots, so my comments have no particular order or priority.
*The boots make an ideal boot for river crossings. The time needed to unzip, wade across, and put them back on are about half the time of other boots without zippers. The downside to the zipper, is that it is not as waterproof as some of the boots I've owned in the past. A good hiking boot will let you step into water up to the top of the boot without soaking your feet. While a quick splash through will leave your feet dry, I wouldn't try it on an extended wade.
*They do not have a metal shank built into the boot. A shank is either a metal, or more currently plastic piece that provides a buffer between pointy rocks and the soles of your feet. Anything over the size of road gravel is going to be felt on your feet.
*The cost was at a good price point. Most boots made for backpacking are priced around $200.
*We did a six to eight mile walking tour of Washington DC this spring. Around six miles, the boots and feet were starting to feel the day's walk. Your mileage may vary. Six miles is about the upper limits for a certain four and six year old too. Overall, the boots had a good solid feel in the urban terrain.
*The soles are very hard and durable and still show very little wear. At this current wear, the upper portions of the boots will fail before the soles. FYI- When the soles are wet and you're in the school hallways, there is zero percent chance of sneaking up on someone.
*These boots have already lasted longer than most tennis shoes, and they have a cheaper cost. A win for the frugal side.
*The zippers are YKK brand. I always look for this type of zipper on any outdoor products. I haven't had any problems with this type of zipper - ever.
*This is the first time I've owned a pair of zippered boots. I really like them.
*Wearing thick hiking makes it soooo much nicer. Smartwool rocks.
*While these are not a true backpacking boots, it is a good mid-entry boot for light hiking. I would not recommend it for an extremely rocky area, but it could be used in sylvan locations.
*I usually wear a 10 or 10.5 shoe size, so buy locally and not over the internet.
*The stitching on the toes are starting to show some wear (See photo below).
*The sole has a good gripping surface, but not for algae covered rocks. Keep at least two points of contact with the ground.
*I like function over fashion. These are lightweight, without sacrificing durability and value.
*You can stub your toe on rocks, and walk away unhurt.
The only change that I might suggest for this boot is a full shank. I like the price, it is a good value for the money. The boot fits well, and does a solid job. I could see some added benefit of insoles, at a later date, as these are starting to wear. I will be buying another pair to set back in the closet when these wear out.